The Satirical Troll’s Top 100 Games of all-time Part 4 (#50-41)

50. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog, 2009)-

It’s hard to expect anything but greatness from Naughty Dog, and Uncharted 2 is easily one of their best efforts. A globetrotting, Indiana Jones type affair, Uncharted 2 puts you in the shoes of cocky, sarcastic treasure hunter Nathan Drake on a quest in Tibet to find the lost city of Shangri-La. With some of the best voice acting, presentation and writing ever in a game, the cast of characters all have excellent chemistry. Uncharted 2 starts you off climbing a crashed train that’s hanging over the edge of a mountain, and that’s just the opening scene.  The game doesn’t do anything new, but its perfectly paced combination of shooting, set pieces, platforming and puzzles make it a must play. I can’t really recommend the PS3 version sadly, but the PS4 remaster fixes the issues with the combat and really revamps the core gameplay into something special. Crank the difficulty up and experience one of the best single player shooters of all-time.

49. Half Life (Valve, 1998)-

Surely explaining why Half Life is good is unnecessary to a bunch of hardcore gamer girls like yourselves. Half Life was the link between old school shooters and new. Its more realistic approach to the shooter genre was a revelation at a time when all shooters were like Duke Nukem and Doom. Half Life wasn’t just a revolutionary step towards engrossing realism in games though, it’s also a pioneer of interactive storytelling in the medium. The gameplay shifts constantly to match the story beats but neither one is ever sacrificed for the other. And the story itself is a fantastic, twisty tale of interdimensional aliens, conspiracy and government coverups. This was one of the first games I ever played on PC, so you can blame Half Life for why I’m a PC gamer.

48. Earthbound (Nintendo, 1994)-

When you think of RPGs, you mostly imagine games set in high fantasy, Steampunk, Cyberpunk or retro-futurist backdrops. Very few RPGs take place in the real world, and that’s what gives Earthbound its appeal. You’re not fighting against mythical beasts or giant robots; you’re fighting against evil politicians and corrupt police officers. You’re not using swords or staves and magic; you’re fighting with yo-yo’s and baseball bats. The whole game has the feel of a group of kids playing make believe, and this is why I love it, it’s such a unique and refreshing take on the genre. It’s easy to see why this game was met with incredibly harsh critical reception upon release, it just undermines every preconceived notion of what RPGs were at the time. Luckily, the game has since gone from being a cult-classic to just being seen as the classic it truly is.

47. Deus Ex (Ion Storm, 2000)-

While John Romero was busy telling everyone how he was going to make them his bitch in the lead up to the disaster that was Daikatana, the sensible people at Ion Storm’s other branch were busy making one of the all-time classic PC games. Deus Ex isn’t a shooter with RPG elements, it’s an RPG where shooting is one of the many possible gameplay routes you can take. The open-ended levels really feed in to the central idea of player choice and allow you to organically chose how you want to deal with each scenario based on the character you’ve created. What I really love about Deus Ex though is the engaging story. So many of its themes are still relevant to today, as it weaves a tale about class warfare and the global elites taking advantage of the middle and lower classes in a time of crisis.

46. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Rockstar, 2002)-

Long before open world sandboxes became yet another thing for spoiled AAA developers to throw at us with impunity, Rockstar was revolutionizing how we interacted with in-game worlds. Vice City’s almost satirical take on the 80’s gangster movie and the decade’s culture of excess is a period piece story that they’ve failed to replicate with future iterations. I love the color scheme, music and world of this game. 80’s Miami is such a fun and vibrant setting for a game about crime, it’s a perfect fit for the franchise. While the world seems very quaint by today’s standards, it has a lot of details in it that make it special. Vice City for me also has the best story and cast of characters in the franchise.

45. Fallout: New Vegas (Obsidian/Bethesda, 2010)-

Bethesda took the classic RPG series Fallout into the 3rd dimension with Fallout 3 and it was good. But, stripping down a lot of the deep RPG elements and silliness of the older games really left a bitter taste in some old school fan’s mouths. Obsidian, in their usual fashion swooped in and said “Don’t worry, we’ll make another game in that series you love with all the depth put back in.” and thus New Vegas was born. New Vegas feels like a classic Fallout game in 3D. The wackiness is back, the deep characters dialog and RPG elements are retained and the Nevada wasteland is a hostile and lonely place as you would expect it to be, contrasting around the extravagance of the titular city of New Vegas. The fact that the game lets me effectively play as a badass wild west gunslinger just shows how deep the role-playing systems are. With community made mods making this title even better, Fallout New Vegas firmly sits in my top 50 games of all-time. In fact, just talking about it makes me want to boot it up again.

44. Xenoblade Chronicles (Monolithsoft, 2012)-

Released as part of Project Rainfall that would act as the Wii’s swansong, it’s hard to believe that this now fan-favorite JRPG almost never got released in the west. Nintendo doesn’t make a ton of new IP’s so the fact that nearly all the characters from this new series have become beloved in Nintendo’s cannon as much as some of their classic characters is just a testament to how good this game is. The sprawling, beautiful open world of this game was so ambitious for the Wii’s hardware, yet it is one of my favorite worlds in all of gaming. What I really love about Xenoblade though is the combat. It’s a mixture of real-time and turn based mechanics that hits the sweet spot that many hybrid systems fail to. And the soundtrack… Oh my fucking god the soundtrack.

43. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, 2017)-

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a magical game. After a string of great but by the numbers titles, BOTW finally returning to the roots of Zelda with a true open world and thousands of secrets to find is a breath of fresh air. Breath of the Wild is a sandbox game to its core. You can go anywhere after the Great Plateau at the start of the game, even straight to fight Gannon an hour in if you dare to do so.  The so called “Chemistry Engine” paired with the physics engine, allow the player to come up with fun and unique ways to approach combat and getting around the open world. This extends to the dungeons and the new shrines dotted across the land, as you can often times solve puzzles in whatever way you find, even if it isn’t the intended way.  I love this type of organic game design, but what really makes BOTW special is the world. The sheer size and verticality of the open landscape really stimulates the sense of adventure, as knowing you can go anywhere on the map that you see is an incredible feeling. Sure, there’s a lot of repeated content and the main dungeons and bosses aren’t great, but BOTW can truly stand on its own as one of the best titles in a series full of all-time classic games.

42. Killer 7 (Grasshopper Manufacturing, 2005)-

One of the most utterly unique games ever created, Killer 7 is what introduced the world to autor developer Suda 51. Killer 7 is an eclectic mix of first-person adventure game, rails shooter and roguelike. It’s one of those games like Silent Hill 4 that while I love, I don’t really recommend because if you aren’t on the same wavelength as it, you will think a game about a hitman that’s actually 7 different hitmen that’s actually a different hitman to the original one I was talking about is really fucking stupid. Killer 7 is an odd duck, but that’s why I love it, there isn’t a single other game out there that’s anything like it, and in an industry where it feels like AAA developers are constantly hitting the “Insert AAA game here” button, it’s nice to be able to revisit something completely one of a kind.

41. Rayman 2: The Great Escape (Ubisoft, 1999)-

Rayman games have always been near and dear to my heart, but Rayman 2 is definitely the one I have the most nostalgia for. I didn’t have the special memory pack that was required to play Rayman 2 on the N64, so I would play as far as I could get every day before having to turn it off and lose my saved progress. Because of this, the first 5 or so levels of this game are absolutely seared into my brain and even to this day, I could probably complete them blindfolded. As an adult with access to the full game via Steam, I found the rest of Rayman 2 to be a fantastically varied 3D platformer, full to the brim with character and clever puzzles.